The following is my artist statement from my undergraduate Senior Show, and pertains to nearly all of the images completed by October of 2010 shown in the “Paintings 2004-2010” artwork gallery.
Influenced by the ambiguously symbolic works of Joseph Cornell, my paintings and assemblage explore the creation of individual symbolic imagery, addressing the emotional effect objects have on us as individuals. I apply my own obscure meanings to the objects that may have completely different meanings to viewers implying that the meaning of an object has nothing to do with its reality.
While man stores his past and beliefs within himself, he assigns objects the task of acting as reminders, giving them undue significance. This work follows my developing understanding of personal symbolism, and begins as a visual description of the creation of metaphors for experiences. Religion, childhood imagination, superstition, and sentimentality are all examples of this practice and play their part in illustrating my understanding of the world in this work. The fallibility of memory assists us in creating systems of symbolic imagery by allowing us to remember things the way we want to, often imposing a myth-like value to mundane events.
Initially narrative in nature, the works become more like relics as singular ideas, displaying my personal symbolism in which dolls and the stoic, statuesque quality of portraits and figures are used to focus on the human form as object rather than as cognitive being. Within each piece I draw together childhood and domestic imagery, figures and portraits. By placing them in ritualistic compositions I create enigmatic works that resonate on purely personal levels with the viewer, but cannot be fully deciphered. This calls on the viewer to seek out their own meaning based on personal experience displaying the human tendency to try to find meaning in the meaningless.